Tennessee whiskey

Innovative distillers make a mark on a spirit with deep traditions

Tennessee whiskey is essentially bourbon. While bourbon can be made anywhere, Tennessee whiskey is found in only one state. Here's why it's special

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There's a different energy around Tennessee whiskey. There's something fresh and innovative about it, even though the industry has been a part of this Southern state since before Prohibition.

Tennessee whiskey is essentially identical to bourbon, that storied Southern liquor for which its neighboring state Kentucky is best known. But bourbon can be made anywhere, while Tennessee whiskey is an expression of only one state.

Perhaps it's that local pride that gives Tennessee's whiskey distilleries their innovative spirit. The industry's upstart distillers are young, diverse and not afraid to take chances, even as they honor history.

That's the case at Nelson's Green Brier, where brothers Andy and Charlie Nelson revived an ancestral family recipe that dates back to the turn of the 20th century. And history, specifically that of the Black expert distiller who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, is what's on display at the Nearest Green Distillery.

In this sprawling look at an industry on the rise, we'll show you some of the best whiskey Tennessee has to offer, how to drink it and where to find it. We'll explain Tennessee whiskey's history and how it's about to make an indelible mark on a crowded market — and we'll explain why it's time for the rest of the world to take notice.

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